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Florida 2020 Alimony Reform Legislation May End Permanent Alimony

wood gavel on cash backgroundIn 2020, lawmakers in Tallahassee will address spousal support law in Florida.

HB 843, a bill introduced in December 2019, proposes to reform alimony practices in Florida.

The bill targets many dissolution of marriage “standard of living” considerations, including removal of permanent alimony.

For many years, the Florida Legislature has debated removing this type of alimony but was met with resistance from various organizations and government officials, including Gov. Rick Scott who vetoed a bill in 2016.

We’ll address areas concerning the alimony reform bill below.

But first, if you’re considering a divorce, we highly recommend retaining an experienced Family Law Attorney who understands current Florida laws and keeps tabs on potential legislative changes.

Fusco Law Group can provide you with reliable and knowledgeable legal representation regarding divorce, spousal support, and alimony concerns. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Fusco Law Group at (904) 567-3113.

Frequently Asked Questions about current Florida Alimony laws and Potential 2020 Reforms

What is Alimony According to Current Florida Law?

According to Florida Statutes, alimony is periodic payments or a lump sum payment to either party in a divorce based on a factual determination of:

  • Whether either party has an actual need for alimony
  • Whether either party has the ability to pay alimony

Basically, the purpose behind alimony is to help alleviate unfair economic burdens of a lower-earning spouse during and after a divorce.

We’ve provided additional information on our website regarding Florida alimony and spousal support laws that you may find helpful.

What are Types of Alimony According are Currently Provided in Florida?

The State of Florida currently provides several types of alimony that can be awarded based on the circumstances of the spouse. These include:

  • Temporary Alimony (Pendente Lite)
  • Permanent Alimony
  • Durational Alimony
  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
  • Rehabilitative Alimony

How Would the Proposed Changes in the Florida 2020 Alimony Reform Bill (HB 843) Impact Permanent Alimony?

HB 843 proposes to remove the permanent alimony option from Florida law.

Permanent alimony generally provides the recipient spouse with payments until death or remarriage.

The bill proposes that courts grant alimony in the form of bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative or durational alimony or a combination of these forms of alimony.

However, the bill also asks courts to prioritize “an award of bridge-the-gap alimony, followed by rehabilitative alimony, over any other form of alimony.”

How Would the Proposed Changes in the Florida 2020 Alimony Reform Bill (HB 843) Impact Durational Alimony?

HB 843 proposals would place a cap on the duration of alimony payments. Language from the bill states that “length of an award of durational alimony may not exceed 50 percent of the length of the marriage.”

What Other Dissolution of Marriage Concerns are Addressed in the Florida Bill (HB 843)?

HB 843 addresses several aspects of the dissolution of marriage in Florida. They include:

  • Caps on rehabilitative alimony at 5 years
  • Allowing paying spouse to retire from making alimony payments once they reach the age of retirement or income drastically reduced
  • Make Florida a presumptive 50/50 child time-sharing State

Get the Legal Help You Need

In cases of divorce, the court decision to either pay, receive or modify alimony can have a lifelong impact on both spouses and their children.

Enlisting the guidance of an experienced Family Law Attorney can help you understand your position and develop a game plan for the best possible outcome in your situation.

Contact the Fusco Law Group: (904) 567-3113 for a free consultation.